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Seven Tips for Better Health

Sporty & Rich Wellness - 7 Tips for Better Health


By: @chrisbardawil founder of @coreflexpilates


It's easy to lose sight of the fundamentals of health. So I've compiled seven basic tips that everyone can do to stay on track, consisting of a mix of nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle suggestions.

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Bodyweight Exercises:ย 


Pushups, pull-ups, crunches, squats and lunges. This is probably the easiest and most impactful thing you can do for your health. They will increase bone density, muscle tone and boost your metabolism.


These exercises can be done anywhere at any time. Try this bodyweight routine one to two times a week:


Pushups: 2 sets 10-20 reps

Pull-ups: 2 sets 6-12 reps

Sit-ups: 2 sets 25 reps

Bodyweight Squats: 2 sets 20-30 reps

Alternating Reverse Lunge: 2 sets 20-30 reps


All of these exercises are doable for any level of fitness and you can adjust the sets and reps to suit you.

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Fix Your Postureย 

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Good posture is when your body keeps its natural structural alignment when sitting and standing. Think about keeping your shoulders back and down, a neutral spine, chin up and a slight curve in your lower back. Itโ€™s something that should be unconscious.


Conversely, poor posture can have a negative impact on everything from digestion, breathing, and even your energy and mood.

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Focus on keeping your chest muscles stretched out by regularly opening your chest with โ€œdoor stretchโ€™sโ€. Find a doorway and put your hands and elbow on the frame, ease into the door until you feel a deep stretch in the chest, hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

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Walking

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Walking is the most underrated exercise for your health.


I have seen dozens of people improve their health and wellbeing simply by walking more. Aim for 10,000 steps a day to start. This will get your metabolism going, improve your mood and work to lubricate your joints.


Do your walks first thing in the morning, or 10 to 15 minutes after meals. An evening walk is also a great way to aid digestion and help you unwind before bed. Even better if you can fit your walks into your commute or while running errands.


Another benefit of a walk is the fresh air and direct sunlight which leads me onto my next point.

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Sunlightย 

Ideally, we want 20 minutes of direct sun exposure each day, with chest, shoulders, and legs exposed. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin so itโ€™s stored in the bodyโ€™s tissue and utilised throughout the year when needed.


In the wintertime, itโ€™s important to get outside early and get some real sunlight into your eyes. Real light upon waking tells your brain its day time and helps to get the circadian rhythm in check. So open those blinds as soon as you wake up.


Lastly, Vitamin D from the sun is linked with a lower all cause mortality, raises testosterone, fosters a healthy mind via increased dopamine, and gives your skin a youthful glow.

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Meditation

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When was the last time you actually sat down for 10 minutes, closed your eyes and focused on your breathing?


We all experience stress in life, and excessive phone use overstimulates our brains, making it crucial to carve out time each day for meditation. Simply lying down, closing your eyes, and concentrating on your breath can be considered meditation.


Here is a very simple breathing exercise that can help you relax and provide clarity of thought:

1. Close your eyes, breathe through your nose counting to 4

2. Hold your breath for 2 seconds

3. Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds

4. Keep this pattern of breathing going for 5 to 10 minutes


Once you get in the pattern of daily meditation or breathwork you will want to do it everyday.

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Cold Exposureย 

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Cold exposure is something that has become a bit of a buzz recently as itโ€™s something we can all take advantage of easily at the end of our shower. It improves mental and physical health, increases brown fat activation and improves brain health in various ways through increasing dopamine.


Just turn your shower to the coldest setting and let it run through your body from head to toe. It wont be pleasant to start but youโ€™ll get used to it. Start with a 30 second rinse then work your way upto 1 minute, and then see if you can push it further.ย 


This is one you can experiment with but I find that even a 30 second cold rinse is sometimes enough to leave me feeling refreshed and energised. In general though to get the maximum benefit, look for a combined time of 10 minutes of cold exposure per week.

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Hydrateย 

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Under-hydrating compromises almost every function in the body. On the flip side, adequate hydration will lead to more energy, better brain health, improved digestion, healthier kidneys and the list goes on.


Aim to get four litres of water per day - this includes herbal tea. If youโ€™re especially active or live somewhere very hot and humid this may increase to five or six litres.


Think of drinking water as a way to flush out your insides. The water will cleanse your system, fill you up, nourish your cells and improve the function of all your tissues.ย 

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